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BMW reveals first M-only SUV concept, the XM. Image by BMW.

BMW reveals first M-only SUV concept, the XM
BMW has revealed the Concept XM, previewing a powerful plug-in hybrid SUV set to launch in 2022.
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XM - wasn't that a Citroen?

BMW and Citroen have an agreement whereby they can use each other's naming conventions. More importantly, the name hints at the fact that the XM will be the first standalone vehicle from BMW's motorsport division since the M1 back in 1978. Next year marks 50 years since the founding of the M division, so the XM is partly a celebration of that as well as providing BMW with a new top-of-the-tree SUV to sit above the X7.

What about the looks?

Massive grilles are just what BMW does these days, so there's that for starters, accentuated further by an illuminated LED strip surrounding both kidneys. Flanking the grille are a two pairs of very thin daytime running lamps. Above the windscreen sit a pair of LED searchlights for extra illumination. The rest of the body is all sharp creases, starting from the blade-like front air intakes, all the way back to the rear where slim wraparound taillights also give that air-blade impression. The XM's beltline swoops up to meet a tapering roofline, giving it something of a coupe-like roof. The rear is equally dramatic with an abundance of odd angles and details and down below, four stacked hexagonal exhaust tips emerge from near a big rear diffuser hinting at the XM's performance potential.

Overall, the body is absolutely jam-packed when it comes to angular surface detailing.

How is it inside?

Inside, the XM's interior isn't entirely dissimilar to that of the BMW iX, with the same curved dashboard incorporating the digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen. So too is there plenty of plush brown leather. There are some sportier details though to mark this out as an M-division model including the extensive use of carbon fibre weave for the interior surfaces around the dashboard and red accents on the steering wheel.

Design elements in the middle of the centre console also form the three-slanted-line shape of the M badge. The rear seats are finished in petrol blue quilted fabric, though this contrast between the leather up front may just be present on the concept XM. Above hangs an illuminated headlining, the colour of which can be adjusted depending on the occupants' preferred ambience.

What's powering the XM?

As well as being the first M-only model in nearly 45 years, the XM is BMW M's first plug-in hybrid model. Using a combination of an electric motor and BMW's 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 (as found in the M5 CS saloon), the XM can, according to BMW, develop 750hp and 1,000Nm of torque. Some 50 miles of electric-only range will be possible and, though BMW hasn't yet given details of the battery pack, the current X5 xDrive45e uses a 24kWh battery to power a 113hp electric motor, so the XM may use a similar set-up. The charging port is located on the front wing.

When will we see it on the road?

Production of the XM is set to begin at BMW's South Carolina plant in the United States towards the end of 2022, so it's likely we won't see the XM arrive in the UK until spring of 2023 at the earliest.

David Mullen - 30 Nov 2021

2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.

2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.2021 BMW Concept XM. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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